From Bust to Bliss

Posted on Apr 7, 2011

And the tour continues.  Since I last posted we went to Nanaimo and we are now in Tofino.  To be honest Nanaimo just wasn’t great.  We were pretty unsure about performing in Nanaimo – the word was that there wasn’t much of an audience for theatre.  One of our board members lives just outside of Nanaimo and really encouraged us to give it a try so we thought we’d go for it.  We found someone who offered to help us market the show and find a free venue and we were on our way. Our board member offered to let us stay with her and it was a quick stop off on the way to Tofino so all in all it was a completely risk free experiment.  Unfortunately it was a somewhat failed one. Despite posters and flyers, eblasts, word of mouth from our presenter and an article in the Nanaimo and Parksville papers we still only managed to draw an audience of 13.  Seriously.  Just not that great.  A bit of a spirit crusher. Luckily we were staying in a gorgeous home in Nanoose Bay.  Check out the property:

 

Gorgeous!

a waterfall just off their property

 

And they even had a BBQ for us!

 

Jealous?

 

Leaving Nanaimo far behind we drove the long windy road to Tofino. It has been heaven ever since we arrived. Here is the view from our amazing house

The actors did an interview with Long Beach Radio yesterday and they gave us free surfing gear rental passes so today we went surfing.  It was a dream come true, especially for Sebastien. Look how excited he is!

 

Chelsea (Me!), Cam, Seb and Chris about to hit the waves

 

We rode the big kahunas and bagged some gnarly waves Dude.

Tofino is home to one of the greatest little theatre gems in BC – The Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre.

I discovered this theatre while hunting around online trying to find a venue in Tofino for our tour last year.  I took a chance and booked it and turns out it’s remarkable.  This 72 seat venue used to house a bustling little community theatre company back in the 80s and 90s.

 

The house in the Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre

 

The hallway in the theatre is lined with posters from past productions.  Apparently the whole community supported it and it was a great centre of culture and art in Tofino.  In 1997 the company collapsed and since then Tofino has seen little to no live theatre.  Tonight I was shown a room full of old costumes, lights and equipment that is totally unused.  They are now a city hungry for live theatre.  The shows were nearly sold out  both times we were there and the audience was super excited and enthusiastic.  Plus the rental is dirt cheap.  Here’s the crazy part, they have not seen one piece of live theatre in that venue since we performed there last year.  What?!  That’s nuts.  I have made it my personal goal to encourage other indie theatre companies to bring small-scale shows to this venue.  For contact info send us a message (info@itsazoo.org) and I’ll hook you up.

Tomorrow bright and early we make the super long drive from Tofino to Nelson.  We’ve got podcasts and snacks ready to go.  Stay tuned for more tour adventures from Nelson…

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